A great night - now get your 2022 entries in! Sunderland trader urges people to enter new-look business awards

He’s the man who breathes new life into guitars, chairs and drawers – and he’s a winner who looked back on a dream night at an awards finale.

Award-winning upcycling expert Andy Buddin won a trophy at the 2021 business awards which was packed with Wearside’s business elite.

Today, he urged people to nominate some of Wearside’s superb small businesses for this year’s brand new Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.

Andy, who runs Andyman Upcycling in Jacky Whites Market, was shortlisted in the Sole Trader of the Year category at last year’s Portfolio Awards.

Andy Buddin who has urged people to enter the 2022 Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.

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He said he was ‘absolutely made up at the time and it meant so much, even more because someone took the time to write in’.

Now the awards are back with a new name and a new look but with one unchanging aim – to reward Sunderland’s business elite for their hard work.

Paul McEldon presents the 2021 Sole Trader winners award to Andy Buddin of Andyman Upcycling.

Looking back on the 2021 finals at the Stadium of Light, Andy said: “It was a lovely night and great meeting people. I was over the moon.”

He described the moment he was announced as a winner and said he just could not believe it.

He said the business now has a proper base and ‘customers are more likely to order a commission, get exactly what furniture they want in whatever theme/colour they want’.

The new-look awards.

He urged people to enter this year’s awards and said: “There are lots of great little shops out there and craft people.”

This year’s awards includes categories such as SME Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year and Best Independent Business.

The full list is below.

We have a whole host of fantastic backers including Sunderland City Council who are our partners in the competition and are the headline sponsors. Also on board are the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Chilli Mangoes, Marelli and Sunderland College.

Andy Buddin at Jacky White's market.

Make sure you are in the running by putting your name forward. Get nominating.

You can nominate your own firm or a company which you think deserves an accolade.

For further information and to enter, visit www.sunderlandbusinessawards.co.uk

Closing date for entries is Friday, September 23. Judging will take place shortly after the closing date and the shortlist will be announced in early October.

The categories:

SME Business of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East Business and Innovation Centre).

Large Business of the Year - (Sponsored by Chilli Mangoes).

Best Independent Business.

Social Enterprise of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East Business and Innovation Centre).

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Business of the Year.

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

Sustainable Initiative of the Year - (Sponsored by Marelli)

Business in the Community Award.

Employer of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Lifetime Achievement Award.

Business of the Year (Sponsored by Sunderland City Council).